Rootsy folk-rock sextet Donna the Buffalo formed in 1987 in Ithaca, NY. The group’s three vocalists — Tara Nevins, who also plays fiddle, guitar, and accordion; guitarist Jeb Puryear; and keyboardist Joe Thrift — add another layer of diversity to the group’s eclectic and often socially conscious sound. Guitarist Jim Miller, drummer Tom Gilbert, and bassist Jed Greenberg complete the ensemble. Donna the Buffalo started touring almost immediately after they formed, and they continue to do extensively. The group is a regular attraction at festivals like Merlefest and Telluride, and has also shared the stage with likeminded artists such as 10,000 Maniacs, Los Lobos, and Rusted Root.
The Ones You Love Nearly concurrent with the start of their touring, Donna the Buffalo began releasing albums. Their debut, 1989’s The White Tape, was recorded and released by the band itself; for their following album, The Red Tape, they enlisted their friend Mitch Easter to produce. Finding time to record when their busy touring schedule allowed, Donna the Buffalo released a self-titled album in 1993, following it with 1996’s The Ones You Love, 1998’s Rockin’ in the Weary Land, and 2000’s Positive Friction. The band released Live from the American Ballroom in 2002, followed by a string of records that included Wait Til Spring (with Jim Lauderdale), Life’s a Ride, Red Tape, and Silverlined. Nevins also released a solo album, Mule to Ride, in 1999. Five years after 2008’s Silverlined, the band returned with another studio album, Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday, recording mostly live to anlogue in an old church.